Observers say voting ‘highly encouraging and peaceful’

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The NHRC has drawn authorities’ attention to poll timing given the difficulties faced by voters due to rains

Jun 29, 2017-The second phase of local elections was highly encouraging and peaceful with high voter turnout despite adverse weather and political sensitivity, poll observers said on Wednesday.

People in Provinces 1, 5 and 7 voted on Wednesday to elect 15,038 local representatives for 334 local units. 

The National Human Rights Commission and National Election Observation Committee (NEOC) said that people were “very enthusiastic” in electing their representatives. 

Even the elderly, sick, people with disabilities and pregnant women reached polling centres braving rains and floods in some parts of the country. 

Voter turnout was higher even in some sensitive districts of the Tarai, said the observers. 

“People’s participation in the elections was very encouraging. Polls were held in a peaceful environment,” read a statement from the national rights watchdog, which had deployed 36 teams in all 35 districts to observer the voting. 

According to NEOC General Secretary Gopal Siwakoti, people were found keen to vote despite adverse weather and political sensitivity in some parts of the country.

Some Tarai districts like Sunsari, Morang, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu and Banke were considered sensitive in the wake of protest announcement by the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and incidents of blasts and anti-election activities in the run-up to the voting. 

The RJP-N, which boycotted the elections, however, did not resort to any violent activities “to foil the polls” as it had announced to do so earlier. 

Both the NHRC and NEOC said that improvised explosive devices were detonated or planted in Bajhang, Bajura, Banke, Dang, Illam, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts. But there were no casualties or injuries, they said. 

Similarly, minor clashes were reported in Bajura, Accham, Jhapa and Rolpa. 

The NHRC said despite an encouraging voter turnout, there were management lapses like unavailability of toilets, lack of drinking water. Some polling centres were poorly managed, it said. 

“Voters faced problems due to rains. Therefore, the NHRC would like to urge the government pay attention to timing of the election in future,” the NHRC said. 

Published: 29-06-2017 08:07

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